Larger Soy Crop, Smaller Corn Crop Seen

USDA’s estimate of the 2006 U.S. corn crop is expected to shrink a bit further, but soybean production is expected to rise again when the department releases its Final Crop Production Report on Jan. 12.

Trade estimates of the 2006 corn crop average 10.706 billion bushels in a range from 10.640-10.745 billion bushels according to a survey of 18 analysts taken by Dow Jones Newswires.

The average of trade estimates represents a drop of 39 million bushels from USDA’s November crop estimate of 10.745 billion bushels and a decline of 406 million bushels from last year’s final crop of 11.112 billion bushels.

The corn production figure is likely to reflect a further impact from unusually hot weather during the summer pollination period and also from excessively wet fall weather in the eastern Corn Belt, which appeared to cause higher-than-normal harvest losses there.

Trade estimates of the 2006 soybean crop average 3.235 billion bushels in a range from 3.166-3.310 billion. The average of trade estimates is 31 million bushels above USDA’s November crop estimate and 182 million bushels above last year’s final crop of 3.063 billion bushels.

The final soybean crop estimate is expected to reflect a further positive impact on soybean yields from very favorable August and September weather across most of the Midwest.

Trade estimates of the U.S. corn yield average 150.8 bu./acre in a range from 150-151.2 bu., compared with USDA’s November estimate of 151.2 bu. and the final 2005 yield of 147.9 bu.

Estimates of the U.S. soybean yield average 43.4 bu./acre in a range from 42.5-43.8 bu./acre vs. USDA’s November yield estimate of 43 bu. and the 2005 final yield of 43 bu.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.